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You can do this route from :
North Kilworth Narrowboats.

North Kilworth Narrowboats



Pleasant rural cruise along the Grand Union Canal and then up the Oxford Canal past Rugby to the pretty junction with the Coventry Canal, and to the lovely basin at Coventry

The Web Ellis Rugby football museum tells the story of the game of Rugby over the last 160 years.

The Museum of British Transport is south of Coventry canal basin and claims to be the largest collection of British made transport in the world, with over 200 cars, 90 motorbikes, and 230 cycles, also period street scenes, royal vehicles and the awesome Thrust SSC -the world land-speed record holder.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 7 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 8.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 44.50 hours

Total Distance : 98.00 miles

Number of Locks : 34

Number of Tunnels : 0

Number of Aqueducts : 0

Read the Cruising Notes

Read our cruising notes to help you plan your canal boat holiday

Read our cruising notes.


Download the Cruising Notes

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Download our cruising notes.





Cruising Notes

Day 1

From North Kilworth Wharf turn south.

At the Welford Junction you can if you wish to take a slight detour up the Welford Arm an overnight mooring makes a pleasant stay with the facilities of the village close by.
There is even a local on your doorstep – The Wharf Inn, with large well-kept gardens by the River Avon. Some open-air theatre functions during August. Nearby are the Welford & Sulby reservoirs – a public footpath from the village crosses the causeway between the two reservoirs that supply the canal & provides good views of the wildfowl on both.

The Battle of Naesy 1645 was fought 2 miles east of Welford. Here Fairfax's New Model Army routed the Royalists under King Charles I, ensuring the end of the Civil War.
Gently continue your journey passing the Hemplow Hills to your left, and open fields of grazing sheep.

2 Miles east of Bridge 31 is Stanford Hall, a William & Mary brick mansion built in the late 17th Century. On display also here is a replica on an experimental flying machine built in 1898. Teas, shop & craft centre. Open pm Easter -Sept.

The next stretch of the canal wanders southwards in a series of loops through wonderful rural scenery with not many signs of habitation.
Yelvertoft is a delightful village to stop for a while and there are moorings between bridges 19 and 20. The local is is the Knightly Arms which serves real ales & home-cooked food. You can stock up on supplies here as there is a store, off licence & butcher.

Moor for the night here it is 3.5 hours cruising

Day 2

Before you pass through the Crick Tunnel, you can moor up at bridge 12 & visit Edwards of Crick, a restaurant & coffee house offering a wide-ranging menu. Stroll into the village of Crick, home of one of Britain’s largest annual boat show held each year in May and have a pint and a meal at one of the local pubs. There is an intriguing second-hand shop here open Wed Fri & Sat that is worth a visit (14.00-18.00)
Crick Tunnel is 1528 yards long, & has no towpath so if you wish to walk it you will have to go over the top.

Meet the lock-keepers at the Watford Locks and they will cheerfully help you on your way through their complex set of locks. Watford Locks raise the canal to its summit level of 412 feet. Four of these locks form a staircase, with a 'one up one down procedure.

The new Inn is Canalside at Buckby Top lock & has moorings.

The small village of Watford is not to be confused with the large town of Watford in Hertfordshire. Moor up at Bridge number 6 for a true taste of the Orient at the Thai Garden, Restaurant in Station Road.

Once through the Watford Locks continue towards the Norton Junction where we meet the Oxford Canal.

(You soon will find that the M1 motorway swings away from you, but if you want 24 hr provisions you can moor up by Bridge 6 which is right beside The Watford Gap motorway services.)
At Norton Junction, you can then go down the Grand Union towards London, or we recommend that you head west towards Braunston.

From Norton Junction to Braunston the canal runs westward through hills and wooded country, then into a wooded cutting which leads to Braunston Tunnel.
Off to the north on your right, you will pass the small village of Welton on a hill. At Bridge 6 ¾ mile from the Canal, you can find a 400 yr old pub – The White Horse Inn.
Braunston Tunnel was opened in 1796 & is 2042 yards long.

Long rows of moored craft flank the canal, but there is usually plenty of places to moor, as it is worth strolling into Braunston as there is a fine selection of old buildings here. The British Waterways office in the Stop House was originally the Toll office between the Oxford and the Grand Union canal. It is worth stocking up on supplies here. By lock 3 there is a haunted pub- Admiral Nelson. In Braunston itself, there is the Wheatsheaf which also has a Chinese & Thai takeaway. The Millhouse Hotel has a canalside garden, and the Old plough in the High street dates from 1672. The village has stores & a takeaway.

Moor wherever you can, it is 6 hours to here from Yelvertoft

Day 3

At Braunston Turn turn right up to the Oxford canal, the canal runs through the wide-open country for quite a mile, only momentarily interrupted by the M45 just after Barby Bridge.

Continuing up the Oxford canal Rugby comes into sight, you descend the Hilmorton Locks and the canal swings in a wide arc around the town. There are shops near bridge 59 to the south and a picnic area below bridge 53 with a huge Tesco supermarket nearby.

Rugby is a large town with many shops and of course, is the home of the game of Rugby. It is 30 minutes walk to the town centre.

If you need to stock up on provisions, the selection of shops to supply food is brilliant in Rugby, offering deli’s, supermarkets, organic shops, local produce, bakers and butchers, and making it worth a look just for the shopping opportunities alone. The centre of Rugby is a very pleasant place offering nice parkland and places to eat and drink in abundance. There is a pedestrianised shopping centre and an open market with a town crier.

The Web Ellis Rugby football museum tells the story of the game of Rugby over the last 160 years.

As part of your tour of the birthplace of the game be sure to take a walk along the Pathway of Fame, a unique tour which celebrates the history of the game and some of its most notable players.
The town and borough have much more to offer than its unique connection with the famous game. It has links to great literary figures such as Rupert Brooke, Matthew Arnold and Lewis Carroll.
soon you will encounter the short Newbold Tunnel. Newbold Quarry Park is beside the canal, it is a local nature reserve, there are wildflowers, butterflies & birds and muntjac deer.

The canal continues on this lock-free stretch with no villages to speak off, until you reach Brinklow which is about a mile off to your left by Stretton Stop.

There are 3 pubs in Brinklow which can be accessed from the road to your left just before Stretton Wharf. There are stores & a takeaway as well.

Continue to the tiny village of Ansty where the canalside pub the Rose & castle awaits you.
There is also a handy waterpoint nearby.

It is 8.5 hours cruising to here

Day 4

The canal continues north-west through quiet farmland only briefly interrupted by the motorway which is soon left behind for the moment. There are lovely elegant iron bridges along the canal.

Soon the first signs of Coventry appear, sharp bends in the canal lead to the stop lock before Hawkesbury Junction which is the end of the Oxford canal before it joins the Coventry canal. The lock has very little difference in-depth, so takes very little time to fill up or empty!

There is a lovely cast iron bridge after the lock, and to your left is a very attractive disused engine house. The steam engine used in the Engine house was installed in 1821, having been previously used for nearly 100 years at a colliery. The atmospheric steam engine is now housed in Dartmouth Museum. There is also a nice pub canalside- the Greyhound, decorated with canal memorabilia.

You will be turning sharp left onto the Coventry canal towards the city.

Just beyond bridge 2 before are 'Cash's Hundred Houses', an elegant row of weavers houses. The weavers slept on the 1st 2 floors, and the looms occupied the top floor. Only 37 of the houses remain.

The end of the Canal at Coventry basin is very interesting on the side of a hill, overlooked by attractive wooden canal warehouses. The Old weighbridge office is now a shop and information centre. The basin is home to shops, small businesses and an art gallery and has a welcoming community of boaters. A canalside walk is ideal for spotting wildlife.

A footbridge over the ring road gives access from the basin to the town centre, with shopping, eating and drinking possibilities. Coventry Art Gallery, the Museum of British Road Transport and Sir Basil Spence's remarkable Coventry Cathedral are also nearby.

The Basin features a bronze statue of the famous 18th-century canal engineer James Brindley - one of fifteen artworks commissioned from local artists for the Canal Art Trail which extends from the Basin to Hawkesbury Junction.

The old Coventry Cathedral was destroyed during World War 2, but the new cathedral was completed in 1962 and is worth a visit.

The Museum of British Transport is south of the canal basin and claims to be the largest collection of British made transport in the world, with over 200 cars, 90 motorbikes, and 230 cycles, also period street scenes, royal vehicles and the awesome Thrust SSC -the world land-speed record holder.
Its is 4 hours to here from Ansty, so spend the rest of the day exploring.

Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
It is 22 hours back to the Wharf, so about 7 hours cruising a day.


NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.


The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)
Little Otter Canal Boat
Class : K-Otter
(Sleeps a maximum of 2 People).

Precious Gem Canal Boat
Class : K-Gem
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Sophies Serenity Canal Boat
Class : Sophies
(Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).


Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.


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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.